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Author Topic: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!  (Read 5096 times)

Online 2Sox

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Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« on: August 08, 2012, 11:21:09 am »
I just got a call to remove honeybees hanging from the overhang/eave of a porch roof.  I thought it was another call for a wasp nest but when I got the photos, it was indeed a colony building their combs on the exterior of this house - out in the open. No shelter whatsoever except from above.  Already built about 5 or six combs.  I have no idea what happened to the photos on my computer but I've asked the owner to re-send them and when I get them I'll post them here. 

This is upstate New York on the western side of the Catskill Mountains.  I have never heard of honeybees establishing a colony and building exterior combs at this latitude.  Can someone tell me what the heck is going on with these bees?
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline D Coates

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #1 on: August 08, 2012, 11:30:59 am »
A swarm got stuck.  The didn't find a new hive location that they could agree upon and started building a hive in the meantime.  It happens on occasion but I've personally never seen one.
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Online 2Sox

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #2 on: August 08, 2012, 11:35:19 am »
D,

I briefly considered that but dismissed it rather quickly.  But it does make sense.  I've collected lots of swarms that left wax on the location they had settled on for awhile.  Do you think the scouts are still looking or will this be the spot for them? 
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline JPBEEGETTER

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2012, 11:45:13 am »
I took one off the facia board of a slate roof 30 ft off the ground, have never seen that before either. Was 100 year old house in ritsy sectiion of town.  Had nice combs brood and honey. Owner said they had been there before..probably be back next swarm season..

Offline David McLeod

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #4 on: August 08, 2012, 11:56:53 am »
If they have comb undoubtedly the queen has started laying and they will not abandon the brood. They are there until the weather kills them off. As others have said they got stuck and could not come to a consensus on where to go from there so the biological imperative to get established took over and voila open comb. In more southern latitudes they might have a chance of making it through but doubtful in your location. I've done more than a few in my time and have a photo of one one my business card.
This is me removing one from a home in Fayetteville, GA. I wish they were all this easy as there is no cutting or ripping into a structure, the bees are right there for vacumming and access is as easy as it comes.
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Absolutely nothing wrong with the bees themselves it just a case of terminal inability to come to a conclusion, it happens to the best of us. Fortunately you can make the decision for them and move them into a box. The above colony made me two boxes of honey this year.
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Offline David McLeod

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #5 on: August 08, 2012, 12:00:28 pm »
I took one off the facia board of a slate roof 30 ft off the ground, have never seen that before either. Was 100 year old house in ritsy sectiion of town.  Had nice combs brood and honey. Owner said they had been there before..probably be back next swarm season..

Seen that, too. The one in the video was occupying the exact same site that a colony was removed from two years prior. The former colony was removed from under the bay roof and the area completely sealed to prevent reentry. Even so it was still attractive to the next swarm as you can see.
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Online 2Sox

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #6 on: August 08, 2012, 12:03:14 pm »
Sending a p.m.
"Good will is the desire to have something else stronger and more beautiful for this desire makes oneself stronger and more beautiful." - Eli Siegel, American educator, poet, founder of Aesthetic Realism

Offline Jim 134

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #7 on: August 08, 2012, 01:23:27 pm »
I just got a call to remove honeybees hanging from the overhang/eave of a porch roof.  I thought it was another call for a wasp nest but when I got the photos, it was indeed a colony building their combs on the exterior of this house - out in the open. No shelter whatsoever except from above.  Already built about 5 or six combs.  I have no idea what happened to the photos on my computer but I've asked the owner to re-send them and when I get them I'll post them here. 

This is upstate New York on the western side of the Catskill Mountains.  I have never heard of honeybees establishing a colony and building exterior combs at this latitude.  Can someone tell me what the heck is going on with these bees?

   I have seen a few open hives in  MA. and N.H.


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Offline Boom Buzz

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #8 on: August 08, 2012, 02:04:39 pm »
I guess it happens occasionally.  I did a removal on an open air hive earlier this summer here in Colorado similar to what you describe.  Here are some photos...

http://forum.beemaster.com/index.php/topic,38116.0.html

And there have been photos where the bees build open air hives in trees as well.  Like others have said, I think they just don't find a suitable space and the urge to start building the new nest takes over right where they are.

John


Offline Joe D

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #9 on: August 08, 2012, 07:56:03 pm »
Haven't seen one out in the open yet.  Would make it a lot easier to get.



Joe

Offline AllenF

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #10 on: August 08, 2012, 10:08:55 pm »
Best kind of cut out there is.   

Offline Boom Buzz

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #11 on: August 09, 2012, 12:04:10 am »
I just a call this afternoon to remove TWO new open air colonies on the same A frame near Boulder.  I thought I was done for the season, but since these are outside, and probably will not survive the winter here, I will try to find some wooden ware to put them in.   :-D

John

Offline D Coates

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #12 on: August 09, 2012, 10:23:17 am »
I just a call this afternoon to remove TWO new open air colonies on the same A frame near Boulder.  I thought I was done for the season, but since these are outside, and probably will not survive the winter here, I will try to find some wooden ware to put them in.   :-D

John

John, Don't forget to get pictures!
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Offline hardwood

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2012, 10:33:32 am »
It's warm enough here for the bees to survive in the open. We get quite a few every year.

Scott
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

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Offline beeghost

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2012, 11:20:48 am »
I have only seen one un-occupied open air hive here in CA, it obviously didnt survive being at the top of a pine tree about 30' off the ground. My most recent swarm catch last week found a small swarm starting to build comb on a cyclone fence gate. That small swarm is being fed now and building comb quickly in a nuc, along with a drawn frame I threw in there for them!! I hope they make it as they are the lightest colored bees I have ever seen, like sunkists!!
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Offline Boom Buzz

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #15 on: August 10, 2012, 02:09:54 am »
Oooooppps.   

The 2 external hives I got called on yesterday turned out to be.........
1. a WASP nest, high up on the eaves - hard to see.  I had to use binoculars to confirm they are wasps, and
2. an internal honey bee colony in the very top of the A frame.   :bee:

It is getting late to do removals here but the owner wants them out.  Plus I need the extra money to upgrade my extractor purchase to motorized.  So I will bid it and do the removal if I get the job.  And then feed like crazy...

Offline bens

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #16 on: August 11, 2012, 12:21:46 am »
found this one last year in the open



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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #17 on: August 11, 2012, 09:08:55 am »
Open air colonies are not the norm by any means but I remove a half dozen or so of them every season. I have one I am doing this coming week in fact. We have very mild winters and I have removed a few by all accounts that had been there three plus years! Amazing they can withstand the elements upon them this long a period.


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Offline annette

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #18 on: August 11, 2012, 09:30:04 pm »




Removed this hive a couple of months ago above a sliding glass door.





Second time I have seen this happen. First time was in an orchard.


Offline David McLeod

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2012, 09:40:37 am »
Annette, that one is absolutely beautiful. I love the open air combs and wish I could keep a good strong colony open air for the ultimate observation hive.
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Offline JP

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #20 on: August 12, 2012, 04:09:43 pm »
Does this count?






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Offline hardwood

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Re: Bees building their combs in the OPEN!
« Reply #21 on: August 12, 2012, 08:46:00 pm »
Take a peek at my avitar :-D
"In the first place, we should insist that if the immigrant who comes here in good faith becomes an American and assimilates himself to us, he shall be treated on an exact equality with everyone else, for it is an outrage to discriminate against any such man because of creed, or birthplace, or origin. But this is predicated upon the person's becoming in every facet an American, and nothing but an American...There can be no divided allegiance here. Any man who says he is an American, but something else also, isn't an American at all. We have room for but one flag, the American flag...We have room for but one language here, and that is the English language...And we have room for but one sole loyalty and that is a loyalty to the American people."

Theodore Roosevelt 1907